200 // Ways To Manage Your Environment For Better Mental Health

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Surely your home should be based on your needs, I mean, if you’re a Compass Termite from Northern Australia, you will want your nest to be orientated north-south. No one knows why you’d want that, but you would and that’s all that matters. Then again, say if you are a Baya Weaver, you’d be out collecting grass to ensure you can weave a beautiful home high in the trees. It all comes down to what you want and need.

You see, your needs matter. In fact when it comes to wild animals everything should be taken into consideration. The VogelKop Bowerbird for instance, builds an impressive looking hut to sort berries neatly into piles. However, when it is time for children the VogelKop Bowerbird abandons it, now deemed unfit for purpose (the hut, not the children).

Quite often in the modern world though, homes, houses, cities and the environments we build are not necessarily condusive to our needs – more so than to make more moneyf or someone else. So lets say in the unlikely event that you are reading this and you are not a bird, or a termite*, and that you are just mentally ill – What home do you build then?

This is in an interesting one, not least because it infers a whole load of questions about your immediate environment and the local environment. How much extra space do you need? How much light do you need? How big are your windows? What decor do you need? Should you live in the country? Should you live in a community? Should you live in a house that is sold as detached but only by 20 cm? Should you live in a house that is sold as 3 bedrooms but two them are just about small enough to almost sit down in? Should you find sticks and build a bowerbird hut? Should you sell everything you own and go live in the wild (à la Alexander Supertramp)?

For me, these questions have always been difficult to answer and quite often irrelevant to my mental health. I have lived in many big cities (Los Angeles, London, Beijing, Vienna) as well as in small towns (Osnabruck, Tampere), and now in the beautiful countryside of Ireland. The mental issues never disappeared though, they just adapted to the environment – often better than I did.

Plus I learned that the culture is just as important as infrastructure. Beijing for instance is one of the most peaceful cities I’ve ever been to, after 10pm. Walking around after 10pm I felt as free and relaxed as I have in the rolling English countryside. Contrast this to London for instance, somewhere that never sleeps, and if you have the audacity to sleep, your best friend will steal your job only for a passerby to then wake you up and steal your wallet as they squeeze in next to you on an overcrowded bus. A one way ticket to great mental health? I think not.

So I don’t know exactly what is conducive to my mental health, but I’ve so far narrowed it down to; living in the countryside where it is peaceful, living next to natural beauty and having space to grow creatively.

And that is pretty much what we found today when my girlfriend and I went to look at an old school that is for sale. It is a beautiful small school in the country, on the side of a small hill overlooking the Irish countryside. It has everything I could hope, except it could all slip away as neither my girlfriend nor I have managed to find a job yet. Oh well, at least mental health isn’t important or antyhing. I think it’s about time I just morphed into a VogelKop Bowerbird and built a hut to live in.

Paul Green

*This still includes Nigel Farage.

P.S I would just like to say thank you and sorry to everyone who has emailed me or left comments lately. It is marvellous and I love receiving them, I just haven’t had the motivation to reply or interact lately. It will return and it is appreciated though!

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14 Comments

  1. intenttowin

    My husband says if I would shovel out part of the tons of clutter everywhere (my office mates feel the same way too) then everyone would have better mental health. But I am a hoarder at heart and never learned the art of knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep (isn’t that a song by Kenny Rodgers?) Anyway, feng shui says to have good light, good air flow and live plants (cut flowers are already dying which is not good).
    The school house sounds great. Two or three of the old school houses in our area have been converted into homes.
    Ta ta for now.

    Like

  2. desertcurmudgeon

    Oh, to be a VogelKop Bowerbird. Until quite recently, my little habitat was quite well-suited to my emotional needs. Then Trump happened and now I feel that the life of a refugee might be culturally preferable to my current life which is now only comfortable in the physical sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. helentastic67

    Buy! Buy! Beg. Steal. Borrow. No, seriously. Maybe you Needs think creatively about how to make a living……..ok, and you could always rent it out if you get itchy feet? I prefer city living. Well, suburbia a little but easy access to people, good coffee and non judgemental people. Cheers,H

    Like

  4. bexybexybexy

    I’ve lived it in such a wide range of places and buildings from humble, no proper bathroom terrace town housing to grand places with many rooms (always with a big bluebottle somewhere bouncing a BBBBZZZZzzz against a window). Village life and town, but not much city and a few times in the remotest of isolated nature filled wonderful, including a croft with a tin roof in Orkney that hens have used to nest and lay their eggs on, plus once high up on an Alps mountain side wooden build with no proper bed and no loo!
    Mentally I’ve been just as many wide ranging places, but thankfully never so as people would interfere with my liberty and for that I appreciate all of the places I have dwelt.

    Like

  5. ibizagoldgirl

    I Absofreakinglutely love this post. My parents are home and talking about their new house which everyone assumes I will just live in … all I want to do is spread all my art, craft, glitter, crystals, stationary and books out and have easy access to them anytime I want whilst looking out at the rolling hills!!

    I remember when I found the old farmhouse in Meath … ahhh the best memories … I know how important these things are and I wish you love & light my friend ☘️☘️☘️

    Like

  6. Another Cracked Belle

    I grew up in southern Louisiana, and I’m an outdoors person. I recently moved to the frigid Minnesota where the sun is visible only three months of the year. my mental health has been deteriorating because of the lack of sun. I’ve even purchased one of those sun lamps; it works, but it’s not a permanent solution. I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to move away.

    but you’re right — having your home designed to meet your needs is very critical. great post!

    Like

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